EA housemates: a good idea? Plus how to find them

Alex Flint recently wrote:

Is there any way for EAs who are looking for housemates to find each other?

Living with other EAs is a really powerful way to strengthen the community, and finding like-minded housemates can also have a financial impact for many of us.

If there's nothing already out there then I'm going to make something.

I answered that there is: the 'lodging' category on SkillShare, the website for sharing among effective altruists. If anyone is interested in finding EA housemates I'd encourage them to say so there, creating an 'Offer' if they already have a house and a 'Request' if they're looking for one. (To do so, you click 'Sign in or sign up' at the top right, then click the resultant '+' icon at the top right.) If multiple people are looking for shared housing in the same area, they can find each other and arrange it. I thought it was worth creating this post to alert people to this possibility.

Shared EA houses are quite widespread. There are several in Basel, the Bay Area, London, Oxford, and Vancouver - and that's just the ones I know of. I'd be interested to hear of any elsewhere! I'd also be curious what people think of the phenomenon. Most considerate housemates ever? Or a bit 'cultish', or insular, or bad PR?

Comments (10)

Comment author: Richard_Batty 21 January 2015 07:38:13PM 8 points [-]

I started the ball rolling on a London EA house just by posting to the London EA facebook group asking if anyone was interested. Lots were, and we ended up with two houses. It's been a huge boost to my happiness and productivity.

One piece of advice: don't overanalyse things, just get going. I watched a huge email thread develop on the London LessWrong google group about setting up a rationalist house. It never got anywhere because they just spent ages arguing about the best way to handle housework, resolve disputes etc. With the London EA house we just worked out which locations we wanted to live in and then we started looking.

Comment author: vollmer 21 January 2015 08:40:22AM *  3 points [-]

Personal experience: Most considerate housemates ever, and not at all cultish ... though it depends a lot on the people :)

I personally think it's not that helpful to have an additional system for EA housing since it's not so hard to just get in touch via a local group / chapter and look for other interested people there.

Comment author: alexflint 21 January 2015 04:47:45PM 2 points [-]

My experience over the last few days has been that finding potential roommates in the bay area is much harder than it needs to be. There is a lesswrong housing spreadsheet but many EAs are not aware of it. There are many different EA groups and websites where bay area EAs hang out (I have a list of 11). I've reached out to dozens of people directly and been introduced to dozens more, which is super awesome, but it's by no means efficient.

Comment author: tomstocker 22 January 2015 04:31:48PM 1 point [-]

Is that list published anywhere?

Comment author: vollmer 12 February 2015 10:26:29PM 0 points [-]

Form and list.

Comment author: Tom_Ash  (EA Profile) 13 February 2015 09:21:02AM 1 point [-]

I've just posted those to SkillShare.

Comment author: Tom_Ash  (EA Profile) 21 January 2015 08:50:44AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: alexflint 20 January 2015 11:49:21PM 2 points [-]

Thanks Tom. I've posted at skillshare.

I'd also be interested in whether folks think that a dedicated housing/roommate spreadsheet for EAs would be helpful.

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 26 January 2015 12:51:53AM 0 points [-]

Given the low costs involved in creating such a spreadsheet, my advice would be to go ahead and just try it.

Comment author: Gentzel 26 January 2015 06:42:20PM 0 points [-]


The group above is looking to make a house or 2 in the DC metro area. The first house will likely be organized this year in College Park, Maryland.